For any city or region, the home team reaching great heights is a point of pride. But it means just a little bit more in New Orleans, where every Saints victory seems to inspire a gleam in everyone’s eye, some extra purpose in their steps and an abundance of joy that permeates the city as a whole.
This Sunday, the Saints will attempt to reach the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history. Certainly, it won’t be easy, not with a very talented Los Angeles Rams team headed to town with championship aspirations of its own. The Rams and Saints played a classic in the Superdome earlier this season, and the stakes were high in that one. They’re even higher now.
It was just about a decade ago when the Saints were playing in the NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings in an attempt to reach the Super Bowl for the first time ever. Who would have thought on that day that a decade later, Sean Payton and Drew Brees would still be in their respective leadership positions with our team? We would have all hoped it, but in the NFL, such longevity is the rarest of blessings. We’re very fortunate.
Beating the Vikings on that day opened so many doors for the Saints franchise, which had gone so long without reaching that pinnacle that it simply seemed impossible to imagine. A Super Bowl involving the New Orleans Saints? The football world revolving around our franchise for two weeks?
The Vikings made us earn it that day. And though it was a game with the kind of ups and downs that may have taken years off our lives, it certainly felt worth it in the end — and certainly so again, two weeks later, when Tracy Porter sealed the deal and made the Saints champions.
Another Super Bowl opportunity would be so sweet. Go get ‘em, boys.